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Conservation can only work by putting a value on forests

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Issue date: 
Nov 30, 2011
Publisher Name: 
Forest Carbon Asia
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REDD+ type projects to protect rainforests face many obstacles but we should not give up on market-based solutions, says Ben Caldecott from the investment bank Climate Change Capital.

We can’t possibly tackle climate change or many of the other environmental challenges we face without halting deforestation. At the heart of making this a reality is ensuring that forests are worth more alive than dead. While it’s impossible to place a simple monetary value on things of such significance, to permanently shift preferences toward forest conservation, this is exactly what we must do.
But to make REDD+ operational at scale we need to address a number of outstanding issues, particularly around the best way to actually pay and finance REDD+ activities, as well as how to mobilise wide-spread support for such activities. These are important questions that have yet to be satisfactorily answered.

The costs of forest conservation and restoration must be borne by all those that benefit: everyone on the planet. Socialising these costs should be done in a way that takes account of means, so that richer regions will pay for the bulk of the investment required. The revenues to pay for REDD+ will have to be generated via tax systems, philanthropic contributions and cap-and-trade schemes. The latter can and should play the largest role because it makes polluters pay and can achieve scale in a way that grants funded through general taxation or philanthropy cannot.

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Extpub | by Dr. Radut